New Swedish Head Coach: Interview with Lars Kvael
01 Jul 2014 at 07:15 | Published by: Hans | Views: 12546 | News search
Lars Kvael acting as Swedish Coach in Bad Munder (Photo by Hans Bergström 2013)
Interview with Lars Kvael (LK), Swedens new Head Coach from 2015
This interview was done the 19th of June 2014. Interviewer is Hans Bergström (HB).
HB: First of all congratulations to the appointment to be the new national head coach of the Swedish national team, taking over from Jan Strandberg after this season with beginning in January 2015. What are your feelings for the assignment?
LK: Thank you, Hans. First of all it’s a great honor to be asked to be the head coach for the Swedish national team. It will be exciting to work with the players and the coaching team.
HB: Can you tell our readers who is Lars Kvael?
LK: I’m a 42 years old Norwegian that lives in Oslo, Norway. I’m single and have no family. I work as a financial controller in the Norwegian Defense. I have played minigolf since 1986, and for the last 15 years I have play for two Swedish clubs.
HB: You have been playing for a Swedish club for many years and know most of the potential national team players well and also been part of the coach team with Jan Strandberg at international events. So how did it feel as a Norwegian to be asked to take on the national team of Sweden?
LK: When I was asked to be the new national head coach I first didn’t believed that is was true, but when I released that it was, I said that I would seriously think about it. Of course it was a great honor to be asked for such an important position. I think my experience as a coach was the reason why the Swedish Minigolf Federation wanted me for the job.
HB: What do you think will be your strong sides as national head coach?
LK: First of all I have played more than 15 international championships, and been part of the coaching team of Sweden 8 times before. This experience, I think, is important to prepare and manage the national team for future championships.
HB: Last year you also won the Swedish Championship’s title in match play. Was this a career highlight as player for you?
LK: The victory in the Swedish Championships was probably my career highlight as a player. I have also to silver medals in Nordic Championships that I value highly.
HB: Your first big challenge will be to retain the men’s team title from Germany in the World Championships in Lahti, Finland in 2015. How do you feel about this first big challenge?
LK: I’m sure that we will give Germany a great fight for the title in Lahti. The German team played very good on the easy felt course in Bad Münder. What I have heard about the felt course in Lahti is that it is more challenging than the course in Bad Münder. I think that will favor the Swedish team, but of course we need to put together a very good team to be able to beat the Germans.
HB: If you could chose 3 players that you would like to bring to the World Championships playing for Sweden in Lahti 2015, which one would you pick?
LK: Of course, I would like to choose the number one on the World ranking, Filiph Svensson. I also would like Anders Olsson and Carl-Johan Ryner to play in the World Championships in Lahti, Finland, next year.
HB: How do you think your leadership will differ from you successor Jan Strandberg?
LK: That’s difficult to say. I think Jan Strandberg’s leadership during the championships has been great. I intend to continue the Swedish way of preparing for championships and I will together with the coaching team give the players all the help them need during the championship.
HB: You are also maybe the best Norwegian player the last years; will this mean that we will not see you as player anymore in international championships?
LK: The last 10 years I have not played any European Championships and World Championships, except for in WC in Stockholm in 2011. In the future I will only play the Nordic Championships.
HB: Your successor Jan Strandberg was never that interested in the MOS part of Minigolf. What is your opinion about this?
LK: Well, I have no experience with MOS myself. But, I think I prefer courses that you can play for hole-in-one, and where the play improves with use of different type of balls and when you can play the ball into sidewalls to make more possibilities. So if MOS courses are designed for that type of play, I think MOS will be more popular in the future.
HB: For many years the Swedish national coach team has not included a single woman at all even though there are always ladies competing. What do you think is the reason for this lack of female national coaches in Sweden?
LK: I think that this is not a unique Swedish situation. Overall there are more men than ladies that play minigolf. This will also reflect the selection of the coaching team. To give the players good help during international championships the coaching team needs experienced coaches and/or quality players that know how to prepare good balls in different conditions.
HB: Again a big congratulation to the appointment and good luck with the team in the future!
LK: Thank you. I’m looking forward to start this challenge.